ADALBERT STIFTER (1805 - 1868)
Born on 23 November 1805 in Oberplan (now in horni Plana in the Czech Republic), South Bohemia, he was the son of a weaver and flax trader.
1818-1826 attended the grammar school in the Benedictine monastery in Kremsmünster. Graduated in Law, later studying Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Vienna University.
Active as a painter and writer, from 1840 he published short stories in newspapers and almanachs which in 1844 he revised and which appeared under the title “Studien” in the Gustav Heckenast Press in Budapest.
In the year of revolution 1848, he moved to Linz where from 1850 he became chief inspector of elementary schools for the whole province, curator and founder of the Upper Austrian gallery and likewise co-founder of the Realschule in Linz.
In 1853, his first collection of stories, “Bunte Steine” (Coloured Stones) appeared and in 1857 his Bildungsroman, “ Der Nachsommer” (Indian Summer), from 1865 to 1867, a historical novel “Witiko”, meanwhile he was working on a planned novel “Die Mappe meines Urgroßvaters” (My Great–Grandfather’s Briefcase). At the same time he was active as a painter and sketcher.
From 1863-4 he fell ill, apparently with cirrhosis of the liver, which progressively weakened him and on 28th January 1868, he took his own life using a cut-throat razor.
Roughly 80 kilometres divide the house where Stifter was born in Oberplan from the house in Linz where he died. Both houses now operate as important museums, the one in Linz with the extra dimension of accommodating the Institute for Upper Austrian Literature.
Both houses reflect Stifter’s literary worlds. His monuments in the Bohemian forest and likewise in Linz are appropriately symbolic of both his personal and artistic worlds.
In addition to his literary monuments, two stone obelisks refer to the cornerstone of his Biographica literaria: the granite obelisk in Plöckenstein with the natural beauties used as the scene of his novels “Witiko” and “Hochwald” and a similar monument on his gravestone at the St. Barbara cemetery in Linz.
pdf Download: Zeittafel Adalbert Stifter